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Beer Review #53 Brooklyn Local 1

My little hiatus from posting has not stopped my love of Belgian beers in the slightest. Today’s Belgian beer comes all the way from Brooklyn, NY, home of the Brooklyn Brewery. Don’t you love it when the brewery’s name and location match? Anyway I don’t think that it any secret that I love most of the beers that I have ever had from the Brooklyn Brewery. On this site I have only reviewed their Pennant Ale ’55, but I have enjoyed a great number of their beers that we hastily drank before the appearance of this blog. I have also read their book, which is also wonderful if you were wondering.

Brooklyn Local 1 comes in as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, which essentially means it is a Belgian beer that has a high ABV and hops that are stronger than you would expect on a normal Belgian beer. It pours a straw color and is 100% cloudy. Lots of sediment to be found and a delicious fluffy white head to go along with it. This beer looks the part of a wonderful Belgian. On the nose the Belgian yeast stands out, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. There is a slight sweetness that is on there as well which I found refreshing.

On the tongue I first noticed the Belgian yeast and the spicy flavors that go along with it. As I dug more into the beer I noticed the malt more and more. It was very sweet. Perhaps that comes from the German malts that are used in making the beer instead of the typical Belgian malts. The hops also come from Germany. Local 1 is a very clean beer. The hops, Belgian yeast, and the malts balance each other out nicely and the hops really help clean your tongue from any left over flavors. The aftertaste was also a nice mix of lemon, grassy flavors, a slight hop bite, Belgian yeast, and some warming alcohol.

For a beer that comes in at 9.0% ABV this beer really did not feature much in the way of heat. It was very hidden and only noticeable on the aftertaste and a bit when the beer really warmed up. The body was in the medium range but it was highly carbonated, so it was tough to get a really sampling of what it would of been like had it had normal carbonation. The beer is something that I think any Belgian beer lover would love. It is clean but features everything a Belgian beer should. Perhaps the most surprising part is how well the ABV is hidden. If you are not careful this beer could easily sneak up on you. It also comes in a caged and corked bottle which added to the “must buy” factor for me.

The Brooklyn Brewery also makes Local 2 which I have had in the past and really enjoyed. It is another Belgian style beer, but much darker and much more bold. If you see anything with Brooklyn Local 1 or 2, get it and I don’t think that you would be disappointed. (more…)

Beer Review #34 Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55

11-12-05A few years  ago when I started to like the whole craft beer thing I bought a sampler case from the Brooklyn Brewery. At the time it was the most expensive case of beer I bought, coming in at $34.95. I have since passed that mark for expensive cases, but that really doesn’t mean much. A good beer can be found in a $25 case and a bad beer can be found in a $100 case. Price doesn’t really equate to quality in the craft beer world.

When I got that variety case from Brooklyn Brewery I loved the Pennant Ale ’55. Ever since I have been wanting to get just a six pack so that I could have it again. My local store carries Brooklyn Lager and occasionally Brooklyn Pale Ale, but I have never seen the Pennant Ale 55′. I walked in the other day, and there it was. I have got to tell you that I was more than excited. I quickly brought it and $8.99 and a short ride later and it was all mine to drink.

11-12-03Brooklyn Pennant Ale 44′ pours a golden amber in color with a slightly off-white head. The head is thick and lasting and a thin head will remain through the entire beer. There are a lot of small to medium bubbles and the beer is perfectly clear. The nose is very malty. Biscuit, toast, and bread were what I picked up in the malt area. There was a slight hop aroma, being slightly floral, but not overpowering and not bitter at all.

On the first taste the malt was the first thing that I noticed. There is a lot  caramel notes along with bread. A few other toasty notes were found, but they were not overpowering. The hop of course comes on the back-end and provides a nice bite to the caramel of the malt. It is not a overly hoppy beer, but has a strong finish. I also picked up a slight metallic flavor in there, that I didn’t remember from before when I had drank it. Perhaps I just had an old six pack as seems to be common for good beer here in Lubbock.

The mouthfeel is medium in body, but very round. It starts light and grows quickly on the tongue, and then leaves quickly. It finishes very dry. Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55 is named for the Brooklyn Dodgers and when they last won the Pennant. It is a very drinkable beer that is also enjoyable. If you like round body, caramel filled, dry finish ales, then this beer is for you.  I’ve probably had better from this style of beer, but Brooklyn Brewery makes a strong entry. (more…)